Former Executive Director of Defunkt Theatre Arrested, Charged With Theft From Nonprofit

Lori Sue Hoffman stands accused of eight counts of felony theft.

The former executive director of the all-volunteer Defunkt Theatre, Lori Sue Hoffman, stands accused in Multnomah County Circuit Court of 10 counts of felony and misdemeanor theft.

Hoffman, 46, was booked into Multnomah County detention and released on Thursday.

An indictment handed up Wednesday says the thefts occurred between 2010 and 2015, when board members at the Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard theater discovered the missing money, removed Hoffman from her volunteer position and turned the matter over to police.

Andrew Klaus-Vineyard, co-artistic director of the theater, estimated Hoffman stole in the range of $50,000 and that money went toward rent, massages, vacation and dinners for Hoffman.

"We knew this was coming for a long time, but that doesn't make this any easier," he says.

Tax records show the theater had revenue of $100,000 in 2014 and $63,500 in 2015.

Defunkt is an established local theater that stages shows in the back room of Common Grounds coffee shop. The company is a volunteer-run nonprofit helmed by Klaus-Vineyard and Matthew Kern. It is known for gritty productions, including Sarah Kane's controversial Blasted in February. Last week, a world premiere of The Udmurts opened at the theater.

Hoffman joined the theater group that became Defunkt as its costume designer in 2000. She rose to the position of executive director in 2009, says Klaus-Vineyard.

Hoffman did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

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